The Religious Consultation
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Associated Press, May 23, 2005

Most Catholics say church should support birth control

DATELINE: AUSTIN

Most Texas Catholics disagree with the church's position on birth control, according to the Scripps Howard Texas Poll.

Seventy-four percent of Catholics believe the church should back birth control, the poll found.

The poll randomly surveyed 1,000 adult Texans between April 14 and May 4. The margin of error is plus or minus three percentage points.

Bishop Edmond Carmody of the Diocese of Corpus Christi said the pope has no choice but to follow church teachings.

"It's the teaching of the Lord," Carmody told the Scripps Howard News Service for a story in Monday's editions. "The pope and all of us have to follow the teachings of the Lord."

The poll also showed 55 percent of Texans believe priests should be allowed to marry. Catholics were divided on the issue, with 50 percent supporting priests marrying and 45 percent opposing it.

Support for women becoming priests garnered less support in Texas, with 46 percent who favor allowing women into the priesthood.

Again, Catholics were split on the issue - 43 percent agreed that women should be able to become priests, and 50 percent disagreed.

On abortion, 33 percent of Texans supported making Catholic doctrine less strict. Forty-nine percent of Catholics said the pope should make the doctrine less strict; 46 percent disagreed.

The poll also asked Texans their opinion of Pope Benedict XVI. Thirty-six percent favored the pope's election, 12 percent opposed it, and 52 percent didn't know.

Among Catholics, 65 percent favored his election.

<< Associated Press -- 5/23/05 >>


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